#5 & 6
3 december 2001
the feedback in class and comments from other students regarding
your ps4 presentation, implement your proposed communicating object
with attention to finish, attention to intent, and attention to
completing a realistic goal.
instruments are intriguing objects. Their functionality depends
on a set of well-crafted parts, each of which is tuned to a specific
form and rigidity. It is the perfectly choreographed interactions
between these parts that generate the tones, depth, and quality
of the instrument's sound.
In addition, an instrument as a whole acts as a catalyst through
which human interactions can generate music. This interaction between
human and instrument is as critical to the creation of music as
the interactions within the instrument, between it's parts.
My final project is an abstract visual representation of the interactions
between the parts of an instrument, which simultaneously expresses
their need for interactions with humans. The instrument I chose
was a guitar, and my piece focuses on the interaction between the
strings, the bridge, and the soundboard on a guitar. In order to
understand the representation, one must interact with the object
by playing it as though it were a musical instrument rather than
a visual one.
The object is a wooden structure that stands on its own and contains
three distinct areas. The top area contains two strings, which run
from one side of the object to the other, disappearing through holes
in the frame. When played, the strings initiate a reaction through
the entire system.
The middle portion of the object is a two-layer acrylic disk that
represents the bridge of a guitar, which carries vibrations from
the strings to the soundboard where they are amplified into music.
In this object, when the strings are played their vibrations are
"caught" by the disk in the center, and carried away to be processed
into visual music. The disks have a cup shaped design cut into them,
which represents the act of catching and ultimately disposing information.
The bottom section of the object is a clear acrylic window, which
looks into the monitor of a laptop. It is through this window that
one can watch the rest of the system generate visual music. Each
time the cup-shaped design on the center disk is turned upside down
over the window, a small note falls delicately from the cup and
hovers inside the window. it slowly dies away with time, as sound
also fades away. The age of the note is expressed in its color,
the brighter and more saturated blues are young notes, while the
darker and less saturated grays are the older notes.
The object was constructed using plywood, acrylic, a rabbit2000
microprocessor, one servo motor, a miniSSCII board, an IBM laptop,
and the proce55ing programming environment.